Today's Catch

An image of a squid radula from a scanning electron micrograph.

Close-up of Giant Squid’s Radula

This image from a scanning electron micrograph magnifies the tiny teeth that cover the surface of the giant squid’s tongue-like organ, or radula . Seven rows of sharp teeth help direct tiny pieces of food down the squid’s esophagus (only three are...

Just How Big Is the Ocean?

The ocean, which we often break into five large ocean basins, covers 71 percent of the Earth's surface and holds over 1.3 billion cubic km of water. This massive space also holds over 99 percent of the area that can be inhabited by life, along with...
Small orange brittlestars on the coast of the Atlantic.

An Invasive Brittlestar

These brittlestars ( Ophiothela mirabilis ) are not where they belong. These animals, usually found in the Pacific Ocean, were first spotted in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil in 2000. And since then, they've been seen crawling up and...
This 1890 painting of Charles Darwin is on display at the Turin Museum of Human Anatomy.

Charles Darwin

This 1890 painting of Charles Darwin is on display at the Turin Museum of Human Anatomy. Darwin brought William Dampier’s books with him on the voyage to South America that led to Darwin’s formulation of the theory of evolution. He called Dampier’s...

Syllid Fireworms

Syllid fireworms are a part of the Syllidae family , which is a type of polychaete worm. Usually these small worms, not getting much bigger than 13 cm, live on the ocean floor. But when the worms mate, they move from their home on the sea bottom to...

AUV Sentry

AUV Sentry is an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that was used in the Gulf of Mexico directly after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Researchers rushed to get to the Gulf as quickly as possible to learn what was happening to the deep...
Whales are identifiable by their distinct pattern of callosities.

Whale Callosities

Every North Atlantic right whale has a pattern of callosities unique to that individual. This distinctive pattern provides a very visual, convenient tool that researchers can use to tell one individual from another. Learn more about how these...
Circular scars from a giant squid sucker on sperm whale skin.

Giant Squid Sucker Marks

Many sperm whales stranded on beaches or caught by whalers exhibit telltale circular scars like these. Only one thing could have made them: the strong suckers that line the giant squid’s eight arms and two long feeding tentacles. Older sperm whales...

Miami Connects Art and Mangrove Restoration

In coastal towns and cities, vast areas now inhabited by super markets, houses, roads, parking lots, hotels and schools were once occupied by mangrove forests . Growing out of the ocean and onto the land, mangrove trees serve many important roles....
A whale shark swimming in the water.

Tagging Along With Whale Sharks

The sea's largest fish has been a mystery until recent decades. Thanks to electronic tags, researchers are uncovering some of the secrets of the whale shark ( Rhincodon typus Smith, 1828 ). One tagged animal, dubbed "Rio Lady," swam some 5,000 miles...

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